The Planning Commission today approved a plan outlay of Rs 14,000 crore for Punjab during 2012-13,an increase of 12 per cent compared to the previous fiscal.
The state outlay was finalised by Commission’s Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia and Chief Minister of Punjab Prakash Singh Badal in a meeting here.
“We have approved a Plan size for the year 2012-13 of Rs 14,000 crore,more or less that was wanted. I think it will represent a big step up from the last year and we hope they will be able to fully utilise these funds”,Ahluwalia told reporters here after the meeting.
Ahluwalia and Badal also discussed the issue of water management in the state as Punjab suffers from water logging in some districts particularly bordering Rajasthan besides falling water table elsewhere.
He pointed out towards the deterioration in quality of drinking water as many of the village ponds have got polluted.
“We have suggested some measures to the Chief Minister and he has accepted that. We will send a high level technical mission headed by Commission’s member Mihir Shah to look at the nature of the problem…find out ways in which central government schemes and the resources under them can be used to address this problem,” he added.
Ahluwalia also hinted that if needed the procedure and norms would be eased to deal with the water issue in the states.
The Commission has decided to set up a committee for dealing with water issues in the Department of Science & Technology.
This will comprise of senior officials of the Ministry of Science & Technology,CSIR,Department of Earth Sciences,Central Ground Water Authority and state government officials.
The Committee is in addition to the team to be deputed by the Commission that will suggest strategies and policy options based on proven scientific knowledge and technology applications.
The state was asked to rationalise the use of water resources and to take purposive steps in this direction,including the passage of a legislation.